The Cape Dune Garden

A landscape masterplan in the heart of Provincetown’s historic district for two working professionals.
The property enjoys a wide spectrum of environmental conditions; the north-facing backyard is damp and cool; while the south-facing front yard boasts a sunny exposure. At the front, curvilinear perennial beds are added that reference the sinuous forms of the backyard space while separating the property from the main thoroughfare.

Sun-welcoming plants are featured here; the primary features are arching grasses and primarily native drought-tolerant billowing perennials and shrubs that echo the dunes of Cape Cod’s beaches. In the back, a wooden deck with built-in planters eases the transition from inside to out. Gray birches soften an existing bamboo screen, and an understory palette of lush greens, pale colors enliven the gravel patio.


A Dutchess-county residence in need of a refresh.

Acres of lawn and disparate plantings over the years led to a landscape without a cohesive vision. MALA conceived of the site as a whole and looked to the Hudson Valley as inspiration for a native plant palette and garden rooms that complemented the site's architecture. In addition to re-imagining the entry sequence using new plantings, MALA has created new garden 'rooms' on the property to frame the pool and emphasize long views out onto the site's spacious meadows. The masterplanning of this site has been an ongoing collaboration between MALA and the owner;


A suburban setting provides a unique backdrop for a 400-sf urban meadow.
Drawing on the Albany Pine Bush Reserve as inspiration, this frontyard space utilized over 20 different native species adapted to sandy, acidic soils to bring seasonal interest to a small space. Little bluestem, spotted beebalm, and yarrow feature prominently within this palette. Sinuous pathways mown throughout preserve navigability of the space, while tidy edges give a 'cue to care' for curious neighbors.

our process

We are a context-conscious and plant-powered residential landscape design office, with projects spanning from Arkansas to northern Cape Cod.

As each project is unique and approach is determined based on the programmatic needs of the site and client, we encourage you to get in touch to discuss how we may be of assistance in creating a beautiful landscape with you.

Marissa angell

Marissa is a licensed landscape architect in New York and Connecticut with substantial experience in the field of landscape design. She holds a masters degree in Landscape Architecture from the Harvard Graduate School of Design, and a bachelor's degree in Agricultural Sciences with a concentration in sustainability and soil science from Cornell University.
Over the course of her career she has collaborated with and/or worked for landscape firms such as Larry Weaner Landscape Associates, Miranda Brooks Landscape Design, Practice Landscape, OSD, and MVVA; and has enjoyed interfacing with architects and interior designers. Marissa is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture at the Pratt Institute, has taught introductory landscape design courses at Harvard's GSD, New York Botanical Garden, and Brooklyn Botanic Garden, and has been featured as a guest lecturer at the Ithaca Native Landscape Symposium.

When she isn’t designing with plants, she is either reading, thinking about, or gardening with them.